Reviewing the complaint

The Office of the Police Ombudsman will first review the complaint, and has a discretion to determine not to investigate if the information contained in the complaint falls within one of the following categories:

  • Out of time  The complaint is made more than six months after the police conduct.
  • Court matters The complaint is inextricably linked with a matter currently before the court. In these circumstances further action may be appropriate after the court proceedings are concluded.
  • Improper complaint  The complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith
  • Anonymous complaint  The Office of the Police Ombudsman does accept complaints made anonymously. However it has a discretion not to investigate such complaints in the absence of special reasons.
  • Insufficient interest  The complainant does not have a sufficient interest in the matter raised by the complaint. This may be the case if the person had little direct or indirect involvement in the incident complained of.
  • Right of appeal  The complainant has exercised, or has available to them, a right of action, appeal or review.
  • Industrial matters  The Office of the Police Ombudsman cannot accept a complaint that is made by or on behalf of designated officer/s in relation to their employment.
  • Otherwise without merit  In all the circumstances, the investigation of the complaint is, in the opinion of the Office of the Police Ombudsman, unnecessary or unjustifiable.

It is an offence to knowingly make a false complaint. It is also an offence to hinder or prevent somebody from making a complaint.

If a complaint is suitable for investigation, the complaint will be referred for:

    • Conciliation
    • Informal Inquiry
    • Preliminary Investigation


    • Full Investigation